Police wellbeing is the focus of a new goal being launched today (Tuesday 3 July) by the Home Office in conjunction with partners in policing and mental health.Partners who developed the goal pledge to work together to boost the welfare support available to police officers and staff in England and Wales over the next 3 years.The Home Secretary was clear in his speech to the Police Federation in May that he wanted to “totally transform the welfare provision” for police. Today’s goal represents the result of 6 months of engagement by the Minister for Policing and the Fire Service with policing partners and health experts, and sets out a shared vision for ensuring police officers and staff have the support they need to flourish.The minister has joined major policing groups, including the Police Federation, National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), and the College of Policing, in drawing up the new goal.The goal has also received the backing of Mind, the mental health charity which provides support to over half a million people in England and Wales.Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd said: We have heard the message that police welfare support must improve. Officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public, so it’s vital the government and chief officers have their back. This goal represents a real step towards police leaders ensuring every member of their force feels valued and supported, but it won’t solve the issue by itself – action must follow. By signing up to the goal, police leaders pledge to create a culture in forces that focuses on early intervention to help officers and staff. The goal also demands that forces provide key forms of assistance – including occupational health and effective line management – and signposts to other providers, including police charities, which can support officers or staff facing specific challenges.The goal grew out of a roundtable chaired by the minister in January, which was attended by police leaders and health experts. The minister will chair a second roundtable on the issue today.The goal complements existing funding from the government to improve the tools and resources available to police officers and staff.The former Home Secretary awarded £7.5 million to the College of Policing in July 2017 over 3 years to pilot and, if successful, fund a dedicated national welfare service. The funding covers a mapping project that will provide a clearer picture of the welfare needs of police forces across England and Wales.The government has also awarded £7 million to Mind to fund their Blue Light Wellbeing Programme – which provides mental health support to members of the emergency services – and £1.5 million to the Police Treatment Centre in Harrogate, which treats police officers suffering from illness or injury.You can read the full text of the police wellbeing goal.
Leslie Kirwan, dean for administration and finance for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) for more than a decade, will retire this spring, Edgerley Family Dean Claudine Gay announced in a Tuesday message.“Anything but a technocrat, Leslie is a leader who lives her belief in the dignity of every person and who will never shrink from the challenge when she is defending what she believes to be right,” Gay said. “And even as the Zoom calls stretch from early morning to late at night, Leslie’s warmth and humor, her dedication to her team and to the success of our academic community continue to lift me up when I feel my own energy flagging.”Kirwan, who graduated from the College in 1979 and Harvard Kennedy School with an M.P.P. in 1984, joined the FAS administration for a tenure that would be bookended by unprecedented crises. Her 2009 arrival amidst the global financial meltdown led to a decade-long effort to maintain and invest in the critical work of FAS faculty and staff, which, in many ways, helped prepare the school for the pandemic challenge.“The work of stabilizing and sustaining the work of the institution is rewarding, though it’s not glitzy and often involves disappointing people. What I have found satisfying is working with two different, amazing deans [Gay and Michael D. Smith] to strike the right balance and make tradeoffs so essential investments in the mission are still possible.”The first woman to serve as Secretary of Administration and Finance for the Commonwealth under Governor Deval Patrick, Kirwan closed a $220 million structural deficit while expanding financial aid, maintaining the size of the faculty, and taking on House Renewal. Working with University and FAS colleagues, she helped implement multi-year financial planning and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, including comprehensive annual disclosures of the FAS finances in the form of a standard managerial report.“I’m a big believer in surrounding myself with people who are much better than I am in their areas of expertise. I’ve been lucky to work with an outstanding team — some who were here before me and others whom I’ve enticed to come, like my amazing 25-year sidekick Mary Ann Bradley [associate dean of administrative operations],” she said. “We all spend a lot of time together, and communication and transparency are critical. Administrative jobs aren’t done in isolation; our work has to be informed by what the community needs.”Gay praised Kirwan for having an emotional intelligence to match her brilliant decision-making.“Leslie has the uncanny ability to identify and connect with talented staff at every career stage, to know how they think and what they have contributed, and to cultivate their Harvard careers,” she said.Kirwan hopes to leave that as her legacy as much as any financial report that bears her stamp.“The job appears to be all about numbers, but the human element is core to the way I approach it. I hope I have helped make the diverse, disparate, and scattered administrative staff in the FAS feel like more like a community, with transparency, trust and confidence in one another,” she said.And the task that got her the most notoriety in the Crimson was one of her favorites.“I also really liked calling snow days,” she added.Kirwan is looking forward to spending more time with her family and hopes to devote more time to non-profit board service in retirement.An international search for her successor will begin this fall.